Claremore Daily Progress

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Oologah/Talala

January 16, 2013

Stories of Hope: Relay for Life Kick off

CLAREMORE — Rogers County Relay for Life kicked off this year's campaign in style featuring guest speaker and cancer survivor Rei Hamby.

The event sponsored by the American Cancer Society and Hammett House brought together teams from around Rogers County.
Team captains registered members, launching fundraising efforts.
Each team is working to raise a minimum of $1,000 before the main event on April 12 beginning at 6p.m. at Rogers State University.
Local businesses, organizations and individuals are sponsoring teams to help raise funds for the American Cancer Society.
Last year the campaign raised $66,000 and this year the goal is $75,000.
Relay for Life does more than raise money. It provides hope and inspiration the community.
Hamby is just one voice that is speaking out against cancer and praising the hope Relay for Life brings to survivors.
“The doctor called me and told me ‘I’m sorry you have cancer’ and it was probably the worst moment of my life,” said Hamby “I was so scared, I felt like I was in a black hole and could not get out.”
It was not until many weeks into her treatment that Hamby was invited by a friend to join Relay for Life.
Hamby did not know much about the organization or the main event, however at the urging of her friend decided to join.
“The only thing I knew about the American Cancer Society is their campaign to stop smoking,” Hamby said.
She soon learned that Relay for Life brings awareness and raises money to fight cancer.
The night of the relay event was just days before Hamby was to begin her eighth chemotherapy treatment.
“I felt like everything was caving in on me. I had nothing to look forward to,” Hamby said.
It was that night, that she learned the purpose of Relay for Life — to give hope.

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